How I am taking ownership of who I am –A lesson I learned from putting myself first

Trinity Velazquez

Viewpoints Editor

This year I lost myself.

I stayed in a toxic friendship because I was afraid that I would be alone. I went out of my way for a guy in hopes that he would like me back. I went back and forth between my parents trying to keep everyone happy.

What I think hurt me the most was the decision to not change my major even though I wasn’t happy in the education field.

I put the wants and needs of others before my own, and I ended up losing sight of who I was. I became the person everyone wanted me to be and not the person I needed to be.

I let fear guide me into almost everything I have done, and I have no one to blame but myself.

I wasn’t happy most of this year, and I hated myself for it. A therapist would probably be concerned with the number of emotional breakdowns I had over this semester alone.

I started to feel emotionally and physically drained. I wasn’t sleeping or eating. I started not turning in assignments and not studying for tests. I didn’t care about anything.

Eventually, I hit my breaking point. I decided that I had enough of not feeling like myself, and I did something that I should have done way earlier.

At the end of October, I changed my major from education to communications.

For the first time since the spring, I felt in control. All that stress about things like the PRAXIS test was gone in an instant. I walked out of the registrar’s office happier than I have felt all semester.

Why did I wait so long? To be honest, I don’t know. I feared disappointing some family members and friends. I put their happiness before my own because I didn’t want them to be angry with me.

Now, I’m starting to learn to put myself first and listen to myself. No one knows me better than myself. I wish I hadn’t been in such a funk for so long because my negligence of my classes is starting to come back to bite me in the butt.

So right now, I’m playing catchup with my grades and with myself. I need to know who I am again. I need to figure out who I am and what I want.

Changing my major was the first step, but who knows what the future holds for me. Whatever happens, I am not afraid anymore. I am more confident in myself now than I have been all year.

I not only grew to love the newspaper and the communications department, but I found a home there. Never do I feel a more of sense of belonging than when I walk into the newsroom. And I don’t just love journalism. I’m good at it.

That doesn’t sound humble at all, but I’m not going to suppress a talent for the fear of coming off as a jerk. I am owning my talent, and I want to share it with the world.

I know how scary it is to speak your truth. We live in a society where people will only read a headline and not look at the full story. I know that we all fear people not listening when we are at our most vulnerable, but what I have learned is that the right people will listen.

The people who love you will never let you feel abandoned, and they will support whatever decision you make. They want you to be happy.

I am lucky enough to have my mom and my family’s support, along with people in the communications department. Most of all, I’m lucky to have such incredible and supportive people to work with on this paper. This decision was hard but worth it.

I do not regret changing my major.

I do not regret putting myself and my wants and needs first.

I’m taking ownership of who I am. And who I am is a journalist.

So, change your major if you aren’t happy. Break up with the person you feel is draining the life out of you. Tell the person you love how you feel. Most of all, love yourself the way you love everyone else.

It’s time to start taking care of yourself because you are the greatest investment you will ever make.

Trinity Velazquez

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